Two new priest ordain at St. Phillips Parish, Archdiocese of Karachi
Karachi: Archbishop Benny Mario Travas ordained two new priest namely Dn. Shahzad Sharif OFM and Dn. Rashid Hanif OFM on October 08, 2021 at St. Phillips Catholic Church Gulshan-e-Iqbal Karachi.
Francis Friary Karachi made all arrangements for this special Holy Mass.
A large number of priests, seminaries, sisters and members of the Franciscan family of the Archdiocese of Karachi, family members, relatives and friends of both Francis Friars as well as their friends witnessed the Sacrament of Priesthood.
Complete text of the Archbishop’s homily:
In the opening comments of his sermon the Archbishop warmly welcomed and congratulated the deacons saying,
“It has taken many years of preparation for you to finally reach the ordination milestone. and I pray that you may always follow our Lord in His Passion.
I recently met with the Consulate General of France. Who briefed me about the current sexual assault on minors fiasco. Which has not only saddened and devastated the French Catholic Church but the Universal Catholic Church. Since 1950 there have been 330,000 victims of abuse who have suffered under the Catholic Church. Not only has this shocked the entire world but it has also compromised the dignity of priestly vocations throughout the world.
First and foremost, I must ask you to contemplate upon this invitation to priestly life. As you consecrate yourselves to this vocation, I must ask you to ponder whether you are prepared for this life. A life that comes with such daunting and unprecedented challenges.
Your formators are present here and throughout your preparatory time they have been assessing whether you are powerful, courageous and capable enough for this vocation.
Are you as prepared as St. Mother Teresa when she started her humble life?
At the 40th anniversary of the United Nations St. Mother Teresa was invited to the podium by the Secretary General as the most powerful woman in the world. Although at the time she was very old and fragile.
How do you think she was referred to as the strongest? We know her entire life was spent in selfless unconditional love and humility. This mortal weakness of hers invoked the very strength of God.
When she started fulfilling her life’s call, she had only 3 coins in her pocket. Although Mother Superior permitted her to commence her charitable work still, she enquired how it will be made possible with such a petty amount.
St. Mother Teresa answered “My God and these 3 coins will surely make it possible”.
As cited in the Holy Bible
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Secondly, I ask are you heartbroken to be God’s priest?
Fr. Van Thuan Archbishop of Saigon changed the government within 6 days of his appointment. Since, the communist regime did not approve of this consequently he was jailed for 13 years. During his confinement at Vinh Quang prison he contemplated God’s will. He was heartbroken that few days ago he was given such a huge responsibility. Appointed as Archbishop, chosen to serve God’s people and yet now he is imprisoned. How will he be able to accomplish his vocation under such a restraint.
God answered “I have not made you bishop of Saigon; I have made you Bishop of this prison to take care of my imprisoned flock.”
As a result, the Archbishop turned his prison cell into his diocese and served God’s flock.
Therefore, I must ask you not to aim for perfection. We are not here to please people. We are here to please our God.
When you are ordained as a priest, the Eucharistic Mass demands the breaking of the bread. And just like that bread you must readily offer yourselves to be broken. Imitating just as Christ chose to break himself on the cross for our sake. My dear brothers offer yourselves as the humblest sacrifice.
Lastly, I must ask if you will raise your voices to fulfill this vocation?
Just as Shahbaz Bhatti raised his voice for the condemned Asia Bibi. Protesting on the injustice of blasphemy cases. In a BBC interview he clearly stated “I know the true meaning of bearing one’s cross.”
“My brothers let us think about this, the one who knows the meaning of bearing a cross doesn’t he also know the meaning of fear and death. On the cross Jesus did not want the cup of suffering and yet he fulfilled God’s will. If during your vocation you encounter fear and death, do not be troubled. In such a moment we too must act like Jesus. He fulfilled God’s will and not his own for he had faith in God. My heartiest felicitations to both of you. May your vocations be in step with God’s will. Let us ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen”
About Newly Ordained Priests
Fr. Shahzad Sharif OFM belongs to St. Monica Catholic Church, Zia Colony area of St. James Parish Karachi while Fr. Rashid Hanif OFM belongs to St. Isidore Catholic Church, Goth of Hyderabad Diocese.
According to sources, the newly ordained priest Father Shehzad Sharif OFM will preside over his first Thanksgiving Mass on Sunday, October 10, 2021 at 8 am at St. Monica Catholic Church, Zia Colony. Meanwhile, Father Rashid Hanif OFM will preside over his first Thanksgiving Mass at St. Isidore Catholic Church in Goth Sanghar, Sindh on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 at 6 pm.